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Future fashion cities: Paris to overtake New York?

Mon 22 Feb

Paris will replace New York as the world’s leading fashion city by 2025, according to an exclusive Vogue Business commissioned ranking by IFDAQ. Besides the big four fashion capitals, Shanghai and Moscow are cities to watch.

The French capital’s central role seems assured. “Paris has the allure, the glamour and is the home base for two huge influential fashion groups that anchors it,” says Julie Gilhart, industry veteran and chief development officer of Tomorrow Consulting. “In my fashion history I’ve seen Milan, London and New York going up and down. The only thing that remains pretty solid is Paris.”

Gilhart is wary of making long-term predictions, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic has led to industry reevaluation of the structure and meaning of fashion weeks. “Covid has made us rethink everything, including what is valid about fashion week and what it’s not,” she says.

She adds that cities that might seem less relevant now could become important again by developing new formats or launching new trends. Shanghai is well positioned to become a force thanks to an abundance of talent and creativity. Launched in 2001, Shanghai Fashion Week has steadily increased its relevance on the global fashion calendar, attracting international buyers with shows that mix new local talents and international brands eager to tap into the Chinese market. The showcase was the first to return as a largely physical event in October 2020 after the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the international show calendar. “We will see a time when New York, London, Milan, Paris and Shanghai will be equally as relevant,” Gilhart predicts.